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Samsung Ordered to Pay Apple Close to $900,000 for Leaking Documents

50. Patently Legal
Last Friday United States Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal ordered Samsung and their attorney Quinn Emanuel (QE) to pay Apple and Nokia
all costs and fees incurred in litigating a motion regarding the leaking of confidential materials. The amount that is to be paid to Apple in the next 30 days is $893,825.77. The amount owed to Nokia is $1,145.027.95. Update: While "M" is a symbol for a "Thousand", it's also a  symbol for a million. The byline has been changed to better reflect the reality of this report.


Important Case Background


On June 4, 2013, Nokia and Samsung met for negotiations over a patent license deal. At that meeting, Dr. Seungho Ahn of Samsung told Paul Melin of Nokia that he knew the terms of Nokia's license agreement with Apple; he then recited the terms and indicated that his lawyers had told him what they were. As Dr. Ahn put it, "all information leaks." On July 1, 2013, Nokia filed a motion for a protective order in the 12-0630 case to prevent further dissemination of its confidential information. Nokia later withdrew that motion after entering into a stipulated agreement with Samsung, which was supposed to address the problem.


On August 1, 2013, Quinn Emanuel (QE) finally notified Apple that there had been a breach of the protective order, resulting in the dissemination of information designated as "attorneys' eyes only" within Samsung. In response, Apple filed a motion for sanctions in this case, as well as a motion for discovery to figure out how far and wide the information had spread. Because progress had been essentially non-existent on the stipulated remedial agreement, the court granted Apple's motion for discovery, which turned out to be extensive.


After reviewing the materials unearthed by discovery, the court granted Apple's motion for sanctions against Samsung and its counsel on two grounds: (1) failure to institute sufficient safeguards for third-party confidential information and (2) failure to comply with the notice and cooperation requirements set forth in Section 18(a) of the protective order entered in this case. The court ordered QE to reimburse Apple and Nokia any and all costs and fees incurred in litigating this motion and the discovery associated with it.


Quinn Emanuel now challenges the reasonableness of the fees requested.


The full court order regarding Samsung's Sanction Fees that you'll find further below, presents you with all of the arguments that Samsung and their attorney Quin Emanuel made before the court prior to final judgement on this matter. Here's just one of Quin Emanuel's arguments and the court's ruling:


One such argument that the court filing notes is that Quin Emanuel urged the court to "substantially reduce Apple's and Nokia's fee requests because a full award would be unjust in light of newly revealed evidence that Apple and Nokia" failed to adequately protect their own information.


Quin Emanuel was referring to the revelation in February that Apple itself mistakenly failed to redact the terms of its license with Nokia from a document filed on the public docket in October.


The Court's Ruling: "The court has already expressed its view that this disclosure is "not relevant to either basis for the court's January 29, 2014 sanctions order," so it declines to reduce the fee award on those grounds."




The ruling that was handed down on the "Order setting reasonable attorney's fees and costs" was done so in the United States District Court, Northern District of California San Jose Division.  


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